Punk from 1939 through the 2020s

Welcome to The Punk Chronology. My name is Thomas Nadelhoffer. I am a professor of philosophy and an amateur music historian (see here and here for chronologies of doom metal and thrash metal that I put together). When I started this punk project during the early days of the pandemic, I wanted to create an extensive (but inevitably incomplete and biased) chronology of pre-punk, proto-punk post-punk, and punk singles, EPs, and LPs. Less than a year later, the chronology has more than 8,000+ entries! I had three goals when I decided to undertake this daunting project: First, I wanted to create a searchable database that covered the pre-punk bands from the 1930s-1960s, the proto-punk and post-punk bands from the 1960s and 1970s, the first, second, and third wave punk bands from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and the bands from the more recent punk renaissance that began at the turn of twenty-first century. Second, I wanted to provide compelling evidence that punk is far from dead (as the explosion of punk during the past twenty years makes clear)! Third, I wanted to organize the chronology in a way that would enable readers to find new punk bands that they might like from decade to decade. Given these goals, I construed punk very broadly (see below for details).

There are bands from every continent except Antarctica and while most albums are in English, there are also albums in Bahasa Indonesian, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Nepali, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Shona, Slovak Slovenčina, Spanish, Swedish, and Yiddish. I am publishing The Punk Chronology as a blog because I want readers to be able to make suggestions for albums I ought to include moving forward. As I said, while I tried to make the database as extensive as possible, there will invariably be important gaps that need to be filled in. So, the chronology is organized as a series of blog posts. For instance, if you have some suggestions for albums that should be included from 1985, just find the appropriate post (1985-1989) and add your suggestion as a comment. I will regularly update the chronology. In this way, I intend for this to be a community-based and crowd-sourced enterprise. While I am not interested in defending my choices concerning which bands count as pre-punk, proto-punk, and punk, I welcome your feedback when it comes to bands/albums I should include. So, please join me in making this the most comprehensive “living” chronology of punk on the internet.

That said, there is more about my methodology, etc. below the fold!


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